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BFC launches new fund for British Fashion Talent
Nov '09
BFC chairman Harold Tillman
BFC chairman Harold Tillman
The British Fashion Council(BFC) announced a new landmark designer support scheme 'The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund'. Part of the BFC's 25th Anniversary Legacy, the Fund is being launched by British Vogue. It will provide one British based designer with £200,000 and high level mentoring support - additional awards of mentoring and business support may be allocated to finalists at the judging panel's discretion. The British Fashion Council has an international reputation for supporting emerging talent through its existing schemes;NEWGEN supported by Topshop and Fashion Forward supported by the London Development Agency.

The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund adds a third layer to this support scheme with the ultimate aim of aiding British Designers to become global brands. In order to be eligible for this scheme, designers must have an established business. They must also be UK based, as well as having UK and International stockists and support from key media both UK and Internationally. They must also demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how the fund would contribute to their growth with a focus on creating an international brand.

Applications are invited from all eligible designers with immediate effect and need to be received no later than 2nd December. A committee of patrons and industry experts will then produce a shortlist of applicants who will be invited for interview and the winner and finalists will be announced in April 2010. British Vogue will document the judging process in its May 2010 issue.

In addition to the financial endowment, a prestigious panel of industry mentors will support the winners in their business, brand and collection development. Mentors from retail, finance, media, brand development, accountancy and law will work with winners for a year assisting them in achieving their business goals and work with them to create a strategy for the development of their label as a global fashion brand. BFC Chairman, Harold Tillman commented “Last September, at 10 Downing Street, I announced our vision for the Fund as a legacy of our 25th Anniversary. Today, we are able to launch this landmark designer support scheme in partnership with Vogue. London is recognised as being a world leader in creative talent, however building on initial success has often proved challenging even for our most promising designer businesses.

This scheme aims to support designers who are at a stage in their development where they require top level advice alongside a cash injection to achieve longer term success and to move their brand onto the global stage. “We are delighted to have raised the financing for the first year of the Fund however more funding is required to establish it as a permanent support scheme. Designer talent is the lifeblood of the fashion industry and the creative vision, reputation and aspiration arising from these talents benefits the broader fashion industry. Now is the time for the industry to directly support this talent and sign up to the Fund.”

Alexandra Shulman, Editor of Vogue said “Vogue is delighted to partner in launching this fund. There are some strong designer businesses based here in the UK and many more emerging design talents. This Fund aims to help our most talented designers to become the global fashion brands of our future.” Harold Tillman will be Chair of the Fund and Alexandra Shulman will chair the inaugural Judging Panel.

British Fashion Council (BFC)

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